If you are unable to access the dashboard or login page of your WordPress site, or if your website is not functioning as it should, it is possible that your WordPress website is down. However, there may be a simple explanation for why your site is not up and running. Before seeking help, there are a few preliminary checks you can carry out on your own to keep a cool head when your WordPress website is down.
1. Rule Out Wrong Connections
The first step is to ensure that all your connections are correct and plugged into the proper sockets/ports. Make sure that you are connected to the internet correctly to avoid wasting time troubleshooting the wrong issue.
2. Is It Just You?
Sometimes, the problem may be a general issue that affects many other users. To find out if this is the case, try using online services like Down for Everyone or Just Me. These tools check your website from multiple locations, so if the problem is with your computer, you will know about it. If you discover that it is only you who cannot access your website, your next stop should be Whatsmydns. This tool will help you find out if your DNS has not updated. However, keep in mind that changes in DNS can take 6 to 72 hours to update.
If your DNS is up to date, try and force the page to reload by clicking Ctrl+F5 on Windows (and Cmd+R on Mac). This allows you to access your webpage directly from the server, bypassing your cached pages. You can also view your site from different locations using proxy sites. If you are able to view your site this way, it is likely that you are experiencing network issues. Lastly, you can keep tabs on your website’s uptime on a continuous basis using tools like Pingdom.
3. Check Domain Validity
The domain name that you purchased at the time of starting your website comes with an expiry date. If you have missed a subscription renewal notice, you need to check if your subscription is up to date. Head to WhoIs and feed in your website URL to quickly know if your domain registration is still alive.
4. Inaccessible Website
Sometimes, your website may not be down, but you may be unable to access it due to auto updates for WordPress not executing properly. In such cases, try accessing your website using these quick fixes:
– WordPress not updating completely: Remove the .maintenance file from your site to be able to reaccess it.
– Incorrect file permissions: Ensure that the htdocs/Yoursite/wp-content/upgrade directory is writable.
– Turn off Safe Mode: Try turning off the Safe Mode in your httpd.config file, then restart Apache.
– Choose Manual Update: If you get a “Fatal Error”, opt for a manual update.
Other reasons could be PHP memory is exhausted or server timeout, and you’ll need to do a bit of WordPress troubleshooting here.
5. Suspended Account
Most hosting services suspend your account if it’s been unpaid for a while. Ensure that your billing information is up to date to avoid suspension of hosting services.
6. Your Server is Down
If your server is experiencing downtime, you will not be able to access your website at all. Check if the hosting service/package you’ve selected is the right one for your website. If you’ve opted for cheap web hosting, it’s possible that the host servers do not provide sufficient support for 100% uptime. Downtime can happen more often with cheaper hosting that’s not supported by proper infrastructure. Consider switching to quality hosting services such as Bluehost or WP Engine.
7. Theme or Plugin Conflict
Dubious themes and plugins that do not play well with each other or with the WordPress core can also cut you off from your WordPress. One way to prevent this is to buy quality themes and plugins from reputed marketplaces. Many authors take the trouble to point out the known conflicts of their product with other themes or plugins, and you should take the time to go through them before you install them.
8. You’ve Been Hacked
Website security is an ongoing exercise, and often, malicious bots repeatedly try to gain entry with a series of high frequency attempts, and sometimes succeed. In such cases and in cases of DoS attacks, your hosting provider should step up to help you stay protected. It may also happen that the bots or hackers succeed and take over your site. To check if your website has been hacked, run a Sucuri sitecheck and look at the results you get.
In conclusion, being locked out of your site can be a harrowing experience. However, there are a number of ways to find out the reason why your WordPress website is down. Armed with this information, you can try and set things right by yourself. If you find you cannot handle it on your own, you can always ask for outside help.